The South West Regional Directors of Public Health have agreed to the following working principles:

  1. we will work together as a public health system, building on and making use of the existing close working relationships we have between the local authority public health teams and Public Health England (PHE). We will try to ensure we make the best use of the capacity and capability of the regional public health workforce
  2. while recognising local sovereignty, we will use a common language to describe the local governance arrangements: COVID-19 Health Protection Board, Local Outbreak Management Plans, Local Outbreak Engagement Board
  3. we will work to an agreed common set of quality standards and approaches in the management of local outbreaks making use of and building upon already agreed approaches such as those defined within the Core Health Protection Functions MoU
  4. we will take a continuous learning approach to the planning and response to COVID-19 outbreaks, sharing and learning from one another to ensure we provide the most effective response we can
  5. we will ensure that there is an integrated data and surveillance system established, which alongside a strong evidence-base, will enable us to respond effectively to outbreaks. It's proposed that a COVID-19 Regional Data and Intelligence Framework is developed which will enable directors of public health (DsPH) to have access to the necessary information to lead the COVID-19 Health Protection Board
  6. we will commit to openness and transparency, communicating the most up-to-date science, evidence and data to colleagues, wider partners and the public
  7. we will ensure that within our planning and response to COVID-19 we will take the necessary actions to mitigate and reduce the impact of COVID-19 on those most vulnerable, including black, Asian and minority ethnic communities
  8. we recognise that DsPH have a system leadership role in chairing the COVID-19 Local Health Protection Board. We commit to engaging with key partners, including all levels of government (upper, lower-tier local authorities, towns and parishes and wider partners and communities), key stakeholders including the community and voluntary sector to ensure a whole system approach
  9. we accept that we are currently working in a fast-changing, complex environment. DsPH are having to respond to changing evidence, national guidance, demands and expectations. We will commit to working proactively and always to public health first principles
  10. we will make sure that our LOMP includes a strong focus on prevention and early intervention to ensure the most important settings, for example, care homes and schools, as well as high-risk locations and communities, identify and prioritise preventative measures to reduce the risk of outbreaks

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